Amanda Henderson is the mastermind Creative Director behind events company Gloss Creative and her team is responsible for producing some of the most amazingly beautiful and interesting creative spaces for a range of big Australian and international brands, including the spectacular Myer Marquee in the Birdcage during the Melbourne Cup Carnival.
Myer Marquee 2013
With the races just a week away, Amanda is busy finalising all the elements of the prestigious marquee and we absolutely cannot wait to see what she has in store for us this year. We managed to steal a few moments of her time to have a chat and find out more about her fascinating role and how her company was born.
Myer: What were you doing before Gloss?
Amanda Henderson: Before I started Gloss Creative I had creative development and management roles at Sportsgirl and Country Road in their Visual Merchandising departments, where I learned to style, draw, design windows, make props and installations. My husband and I also managed to have 2 children in there somewhere too!
M: Tell us a bit about Gloss Creative and how it was born?
AH: I had this idea that I needed a platform to experiment with larger scale sets and installations. I had been designing windows that were relatively small and had the opportunity to design in a very large showroom one day and I completely fell in love with the theatre involved with designing in larger spaces. I had done a lot of theatre in my formative years; the two just came together and boom! Gloss Creative was born and my Mum named my business. That was 14 years ago now.
M: As the Creative Director, what goes on in a regular day for you?
AH: At Gloss we have a team saying which is say “we make fabulous happen” so my days are filled with coming up with wonderful ideas and working with my amazing team to transform these into a reality. We usually start our day with coffee and a studio update to talk about our projects – then it’s straight into designing and talking with clients before our Creative Concept Manager, Steff D’Alberto, and I visit suppliers, go on site visits and then on to installations. Our days are super busy and I would say that my main focus is concentrating on creating fabulous!
M: What are some of your biggest achievements with Gloss?
AH: We have made our dreams a reality through temporary set designs and installations. Together with my team and collaborators I think our biggest achievement has been to give a visual emotion to some wonderful Australian brands, including Myer.
Myer Marquee 2013
M: You’ve done some incredible events and installations with Gloss. How and where do you get inspiration from?
AH: Inspiration is all around us. We’re inspired by the beauty in fashion, theatre, architecture, sculpture, set design, art, graphics and traditional crafts. Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find inspiration; you have to see things in a new way and bring different creative threads together – that’s when the magic can really happen!
M: We know you’re busy working on the Myer Marquee for the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which we can’t wait to see! Can you tell us about the process and what goes into preparing a space like this?
AH: Marquees are always a combination of a little magic and a lot of hard work. Once we have an idea we collaborate with the very talented Myer in-house team to create our collective vision. So much detail is required and no stone can be left unturned, but it’s so much fun and so rewarding working with such great teams and artists.
M: You’ve worked on quite a few events with us over the years. Can you tell us which ones are most memorable?
AH: I can honestly say that the Myer projects we have worked on are some of the most ground breaking we’ve done. The runways are a new and exciting kind of design theatre and the marquees are so much fun each year. My favourite project is usually the one we have just done, so I’d have to say the swaying giant palm leaves on the runway set for the SS14 Fashion Launch was pretty incredible . When I look back over the last ten years of marquees we’ve created, each has created its own special visual emotion, so it’s hard to pick a favourite. Our set designs are always temporary so its my job to make them memorable and people will often come up to me and say, ‘I loved the palms runway set’ or ‘My favourite was the Florist marquee’ – we always try to make as much impact as we can!
M: What do you love most about the Spring Racing Carnival?
AH: It’s the moment when Melbourne wakes up and celebrates spring in a very big way – it doesn’t hold back! The fashion in the marquee is always inspiring, with so many interesting people dressed in carefully considered and inspired fashion choices. I just love it!
Myer SS15 Fashion Launch